Pittsburgh Pirates: Way Too Early Mock Draft

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 05: Jacob Berry #14 of the LSU Tigers against the Texas Longhorns during the Shriners Children's College Classic at Minute Maid Park on March 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 05: Jacob Berry #14 of the LSU Tigers against the Texas Longhorns during the Shriners Children's College Classic at Minute Maid Park on March 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 83 overall – Colby Thomas

With the third-round pick, I have the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting outfielder Colby Thomas. Thomas has made some improvements this year to his skillset to up his draft stock. The Mercer outfielder should be available when the Bucs are on the clock, and given Thomas’ mix of athleticism and power, he could be an excellent use of the third-round pick.

Thomas has put up a .325/.451/.734 line with a .492 wOBA. Currently, he has a higher OPS and wOBA than my projected first-round pick, Berry. Thomas hits for his fair share of power. The outfielder has 17 home runs in only 213 trips to the plate. Although Thomas has always been a high-walk/high-OBP kind of hitter, he’s never done it with this few strikeouts. His 15% strikeout rate is nearly 9% lower than his 2021 mark.

Thomas is considered an above-average power hitter, runner, fielder, and thrower, receiving 55-grades for each on MLB Pipeline. Thomas has swiped 11 bases in 11 attempts, so he knows when he can steal a base. Although he’s made strides to improve his contact-hitting ability, there are still some minor questions. His swing can get a bit too lofty, leading to him getting flyball-happy.

Still, that’s a fairly minor concern. There’s the potential of a 25 home run outfielder who provides above-average defense and a .260 AVG./.350 OBP on the regular within Thomas. The 21-year-old would be a reasonable selection at no. 83.

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